Doctors want booze marketing ban

Half a pint of beer on bar table There should be a ban on all alcohol advertising, including sports and music sponsorship, doctors say.

The British Medical Association said the crackdown on marketing was needed along with an end to cut-price deals to stop the rising rates of consumption.

The industry spends £800m a year on promoting drinks – just a quarter of which goes on direct advertising.

Doctors said action was needed as alcohol was now one of the leading causes of early death and disability.

Only smoking and high blood pressure is responsible for a greater burden of disease, according to the World Health Organization.

Full story at BBC News

Drug And Alcohol Abuse: The Authoritative Guide For Parents, Teachers, And Counsellors by H. Thomas Milhorn
Another Chance: Hope and Health for the Alcoholic Family by Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse
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New Policy for Youth Alcohol in UK

Union Jack British flag Young people and alcohol – a new approach launched in British Government action plan

A comprehensive plan to stop young people drinking in public; help them make the right decisions about alcohol; and provide clear information to parents and young people about the risks of early drinking was announced today by the UK Government’s Youth Alcohol Action Plan.

The Action Plan sets out what the Government will do to address drinking by young people in three main arenas:

Police and Courts

  • Working with police and the courts to stop it, making it clear that unsupervised drinking by young people under-18 in public places is unacceptable;

Families

  • Recognising that drinking by young people in the home is clearly the responsibility of parents and families, but providing clearer health information for parents and young people about how consumption of alcohol can affect children and young people. The Action Plan announces that the Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson will produce clear guidelines for families;

Alcohol Industry

  • Working with the alcohol industry to continue the good progress made to reduce the sale of alcohol to under-18’s but also in marketing and promoting alcohol in a more responsible way.

While the proportion of young people who drink regularly has fallen, the consumption of alcohol by those who do drink has risen sharply. And the ways in which young people are drinking have changed. The Youth Alcohol Action Plan promises a powerful package of action to tackle this.

Full story at Young people and alcohol

See also;

Binge Drinking to a Bad Life

binge drinking The Risks of Teen Binge Drinking

The aim of this study was to determine outcomes in adult life of binge drinking in adolescence in a national British study over thirty years from 1970.

PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 11,622 subjects participated at age 16 years and 11,261 subjects participated at age 30 years.

MEASUREMENTS:

At the age of 16 years, data on binge drinking (defined as two or more episodes of drinking four or more drinks in a row in the previous 2 weeks) and frequency of habitual drinking in the previous year were collected. Thirty-year outcomes recorded were alcohol dependence/abuse (CAGE questionnaire), regular weekly alcohol consumption (number of units), illicit drug use, psychological morbidity and educational, vocational and social history.

FINDINGS:

In 1970, 17.7% of participants reported binge drinking in the previous 2 weeks at the age of 16 years.

Adolescent binge drinking predicted an increased risk in adulthood of;

  • adult alcohol dependence 1.6 times average
  • excessive regular consumption 1.7 times
  • illicit drug use 1.4 times
  • psychiatric morbidity 1.4 times average
  • homelessness 1.6 times average
  • convictions 1.9 times average
  • school exclusion 3.9 times average
  • lack of qualifications 1.3 times average
  • accidents 1.4 times average and
  • lower adult social class, after adjustment for adolescent socioeconomic status and adolescent baseline status of the outcome under study.

These findings included both adolescent binge drinking and habitual frequent drinking as main effects.

CONCLUSIONS:

Adolescent binge drinking is a risk behaviour associated with significant later adversity and social exclusion.

These associations appear to be distinct from those associated with habitual frequent alcohol use.

Binge drinking may contribute to the development of health and social inequalities during the transition from adolescence to adulthood.

Research report; J Epidemiol Community Health. 2007 Oct;61(10):902-7. Adult outcomes of binge drinking in adolescence: findings from a UK national birth cohort. Viner RM, Taylor B.

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Raise Booze Taxes

beer Tax hike on booze is the right way forward, say doctors from the British Medical Association

The BMA is pleased that one of the recommendations in its recent report on alcohol misuse, to increase taxation on alcohol, has been adopted by the Chancellor of Exchequer, Alistair Darling, in today’s (Wednesday 12 March 2008) budget.

Dr Vivienne Nathanson, the BMA’s Head of Science and Ethics, said: “It is very important that tax increases on alcohol are part of a larger plan to reduce problem drinking.” She added:

“The evidence tells us that the cheaper and more accessible alcohol is the more people will drink. The government needs to tackle this issue so it’s good news that ministers have made a start today. These tax increases may be unpopular with some members of the public but we hope that they will look at the wider issue and recognise that the UK has a real problem on its hands regarding alcohol misuse. Tough action is needed. The UK is one of the heaviest alcohol consuming countries in Europe.

“Drinking in moderation is enjoyable and may be good for you. Drinking way over the recommended guidelines costs many people their health and ultimately their lives. The UK spends millions of pounds every year on treating people with alcohol problems and dealing with the crime and violence often associated with alcohol misuse.”

British Medical Association